Coroner in call for A64 action
Inquests held into couples who died crossing the road
A coroner is urging the Department of Transport to improve road safety on the A64 after hearing how two couples died in separate accidents as they walked across the road.
A coroner is to urge the Department of Transport to improve road safety on the notorious A64 trunk road by installing street lighting and traffic islands after hearing how two couples were killed in late night accidents within half a mile of each other. The double fatal accidents had happened within five weeks near junctions to the villages of Welburn and Crambeck on the busy road which has one of the worst fatal accident records of any road in the North of England.
Michael Oakley, the North Yorkshire East Coroner recorded verdicts of accidental death on David Paul Tinker, a 50-year-old self employed builder of Penton House, Crambeck, and his partner, Julie Gough, 52, who were killed when they were hit by a minibus at Crambeck on May 14 last year.
Evidence was given that they had got off a bus following a night out in York.
The mini bus driver, Assad Ali, a member of the staff of an Indian restaurant in Pickering told the inquest at Northallerton yesterday that he had been taking seven staff home to Leeds.
He said: “I just remember seeing two people running in front of me. They were on top of me. There was an almighty crash and it just went dark”.
He said the bus had stopped at a bus stop near Crambeck junction but did not see anyone get off.
Mr Ali told the coroner that the couple were only six metres in front of his mini-bus when he saw them.
Traffic police officer Stewart Longford, said there were no mechanical defects on the mini-bus which would have caused the accident.
He said that a reconstruction of the crash had been carried out which showed that Mr Ali would have re-acted instantly by braking when he saw the couple in the road. TC Longford added that Mr Ali would not have been able to avoid the collision.
Medical evidence was given that both Mr Tinker and Mrs Gough had died from chest and head injuries and had consumed twice the legal drink driving limit of alcohol.
In the second inquest, Mr Oakley also recorded accidental death verdicts on Charles McLaughlin, 53, a computer design technician, and his wife, Judith, a semi-retired architect, 58 of Jamie Craggs Holiday Park, Welburn, who died near the road junction at Welburn on the A64 on June 23 when they were hit by a car while crossing road.
The driver, Richard Turner, said he and his wife were travelling to a holiday park at Reighton.
Traffic Constable David Taylor said Mr Turner had been driving within the speed limit.
He said there were no street lights in the area nor traffic islands to aid pedestrians crossing the road. He said bus drivers had difficulty seeing passengers at bus stops on the road because of the lack of lighting.
Mr Oakley said the couple had used public transport from York, where they had been drinking and he believed their judgement would have been impaired by the volume they had consumed.
He said: “I shall be making a report to the Department of Transport for lighting to be provided on this stretch of road and at the various bus stops because anyone crossing the road at present is taking their lives in their hands at any time of the day.”
‘Anyone crossing the road is taking their lives in their hands’
David Tinker and Julie Gough